During the past two decades, an increasing number of baking companies have been getting out of the direct-store distribution (D.S.D.) business, focusing more on production of baked goods while leaving the expense of shipping and distribution to the cost-control experts in transportation.

Along with advances in freezing technology, improvements in ingredients and formulations have made the quality of many frozen bread and rolls — and even sweet goods like donuts — nearly indistinguishable from their fresh-baked counterparts. Likewise, enhanced logistics have allowed many regional artisan and specialty bakeries to serve a growing number of multi-state and national food service operators, in-store bakeries and c-stores through a myriad of distributors and other warehouse accommodations.

The American Bakers Association formed a strategic partner with the Global Cold Chain Alliance (G.C.C.A.), which will sponsor a 40- by 40-ft Cold Storage Pavilion at IBIE to provide solutions to baking companies expanding into the frozen baked goods market. The alliance consists of third-party, asset-based logistics companies specializing in refrigerated/frozen warehousing and transportation. For bakers and their customers, G.C.C.A. exhibitors will offer ways in which shared distribution through cold storage facilities or transport carriers can possibly reduce shipping costs and improve customer service. Less-than-truckload (L.T.L.) freight consolidators, for instance, can work with hundreds of manufacturers to create multi-stop truckloads to serve multiple retail stores and save on transportation costs.

Exhibiting at IBIE, set for Oct. 8-11 in Las Vegas, sophisticated supply chain experts such as repackers can offer additional services that better target the needs of retail customers. This year’s IBIE is going to offer a lot more than ever before.